Frankenstein's Cat Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 3/12/2013
  • Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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A captivating journey into the wild world of altered animals These days, we personalize our pets, dressing our cats in Halloween costumes and creating dog breeds that best suit our lifestyles. But what happens when we alter a cat's genes so it turns green under ultraviolet light, or when we clone the family Labrador? In Frankenstein' s Cat, Emily Anthes takes us from petri dish to pet store as she explores the world of animal biotechnology. With our new tech toolbox, we can transfer bits of DNA between species and augment an animal's capabilities with electronic devices. Some of our "enhancements" are frivolousreproducing a cherished pet is the ultimate vanity projectbut others could have a real impact on our future. We can use cloning technology to protect endangered species, create state-of-the-art prostheses for injured animals, and stock farms with genetically engineered, disease-resistant livestock. As Anthes steers a live cockroach with a remote control, discovers companies churning out armies of mutant mice, and explores the efforts to resurrect the woolly mammoth, she takes us on an adventure into a world where science fiction is fast becoming reality. What do these interventions mean for animals? And what do they say about us? With irreverence and spunk, Anthes highlights the peril and promise tied to our scientific superpowers, and delivers a provocative book that will have everyone talking about the future of our feathered and furry friends.

Author Biography

Emily Anthes is a journalist whose articles have appeared in Wired, Discover, Psychology Today, Slate, Scientific American, The Boston Globe, and other publications. She holds a master’s degree in science writing from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in the history of science and medicine from Yale. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her dog, Milo.

Table of Contents

1. Go Fish
2. Got Milk?
3. Double Trouble
4. Nine Lives
5. Sentient Sensors
6. Pin the Tail on the Dolphin
7. Robo Revolution
8. Beauty in the Beasts

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